The acquisition of the two projects, the sales of which were previously disclosed by First Solar and which total 180 megawatts (MW)AC in capacity, nearly doubles DESRI’s portfolio of First Solar-developed projects to over 360MWAC.
Cove Mountain and Cove Mountain 2, both under construction with completion expected in the second and fourth quarters of 2020, have long-term Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with PacifiCorp on behalf of Facebook, providing Facebook’s data center operations with new solar resources.
DESRI has previously acquired four First Solar-developed projects in California: the 100MWAC Willow Springs Solar Project in Kern County; the 40MWAC Cuyama Solar Project in Santa Barbara County; the 31MWAC Portal Ridge Solar Project in Los Angeles County; and the 11MWAC Rancho Seco Solar Project in Sacramento County.
“Cove Mountain 1 and 2 are powered by one of the most financeable and reliable photovoltaic technologies available today, and are underpinned by long-term PPAs to support the renewable energy and carbon reduction goals of one of the best-recognized names in technology,” said Bryan Martin, CEO of DESRI. “While these projects further solidify the longstanding partnership between our companies, they also demonstrate the value that First Solar can deliver by developing and operating world-class solar assets.”
Once commissioned, both projects will be operated by First Solar Energy Services, which, with over 10 gigawatts (GW) under management, is the solar industry’s most experienced Operations and Maintenance (O&M) service provider for large-scale solar power plants.
“DESRI’s decisions to invest in assets are always backed by rigorous research and analysis, and their acquisition of our projects validates the robustness of First Solar’s approach to project development,” said Georges Antoun, Chief Commercial Officer, First Solar. “We are proud of the fact that DESRI continues to trust First Solar, the bankability of the projects we develop and operate, and our ability to deliver on our commitments.”
Both projects will be powered by First Solar’s Series 6 module technology. Produced in just 3.5 hours using sophisticated, fully-integrated manufacturing processes, each large-format Series 6 module leverages First Solar’s proprietary thin-film technology, retaining the proven performance and reliability advantages of earlier generation modules.
With a carbon footprint that is up to six times lower than crystalline silicon PV panels that are manufactured using conventional, energy-intensive production methods, Series 6 delivers a superior environmental profile and cleaner solar electricity.
First Solar is expanding its manufacturing capacity to meet the demand for Series 6 modules, with its second facility in the United States - representing nearly $1 billion in cumulative investment - expected to start production in early-2020. Once operational, the new facility in Perrysburg, Ohio, will take the company’s aggregate Series 6 manufacturing capacity to 5.4GW per year, making First Solar America’s largest solar manufacturer.